Decorated with exuberant opulence, Catherine’s palaces served as a dazzling backdrop for her glamorous court functions. Precious porcelain wares were an important part of ceremonial dining. Soon after her ascension to the throne, Catherine visited the porcelain factory and compiled a detailed plan for its reorganization. In 1765, the factory was renamed the Imperial Porcelain Factory and designated the exclusive Imperial supplier. Commissioned by the Empress, the elegant Arabesque, Cabinet and Yacht Services were among the major achievements of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

Catherine II is known to history as Catherine the Great. She rejected this title during her life, explaining, “I leave it to posterity to judge impartially what I have done.” History has not been kind to the Empress, often focusing on salacious accounts of her numerous love affairs. But the notoriety of her private life cannot diminish her many achievements as a ruler of her vast realm.